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Press freedom under attack in Eurovision host country
Published on:Friday, April 6, 2012 - 09:00
There’s growing criticism of the lack of press freedom in Azerbaijan, the Eastern European nation that will be staging the Eurovision Song Festival next month. Journalists who are critical of the president, Ilham Aliyev, are often blackmailed and threatened.
The Azeri authorities are trying to blackmail one investigative journalist, Khadija Ismael, by released sex videos they had recorded with a camera hidden in her own bedroom. But Ismael refuses to be silenced. She recently visited Brussels to ask the European Commission for support in her battle.
In the past two years, two other journalists and a newspaper publisher were also filmed with hidden cameras while they were having sex. That footage was even broadcast on television. Another journalist was shot in front of his apartment in 2005. He too was critical of the government of President Ilham Aliyev.